Press Release

New Heroes Hall exhibit Through Their Eyes featuring art from SoCal military opens Oct. 13

COSTA MESA (Oct. 6, 2021) – A new exhibit at Heroes Hall will showcase the artwork of 24 local veterans and active U.S. service members when Through Their Eyes: Artwork by Active Military and Veterans opens to the public on Oct. 13.

The juried show features artists who have expressed their individual experiences through a variety of mediums including sculpture, photography, painting, carving and woodworking. The artists’ subjects are as unique as the artists themselves and range from combat scenes to flowers, and from landscapes to surreal portraits. Though their artwork varies by subject and individual perspective, one thing unifies them: they have all served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Heroes Hall Museum is dedicated to honoring our service members and providing a place where they can tell their stories. For this exhibit, our military service members have conveyed their personal experiences through use of color, perspective, texture and distinct style.

“It has been such a pleasure meeting the artists and hearing the stories behind their artwork,” said Carol Singleton, Heroes Hall Museum Supervisor. “Several of the veterans in this show turned to art as a means to heal both emotional and physical wounds. We are privileged and honored to bring this extraordinary exhibit to the community.”

Through Their Eyes was underwritten by the Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation. The judges were Dave Barton, Fatemeh Burnes and Denton Knapp.

Members of the media are invited to an artists reception on Saturday, Oct. 16, 5-7 p.m. at Heroes Hall. During the private event, the Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation will present awards to the top three winning artists, David Vargo, Giovanni Berdejo and Ed Bowen. Please register for this event if you would like to attend.

Details about each of the artists are available on the Heroes Hall section of

First Place: David Vargo for “Unlikely Path”

Vargo is an art professor at Laguna College of Art and Design, and has painted illustrations for companies like Blizzard Entertainment, Arch Enemy Comics, Lucasfilm and Wizards of the Coast.

“My love of the mysterious combined with my passion for the figure has led to a long-term art affair with imaginative realism,” Vargo said.

Second Place: Giovanni Berdejo for “Hope”

Berdejo is a photographer and author, and has taught photography workshops for student veterans at Chapman University.

Third Place: Ed Bowen for “Entrenchment”

Bowen is a Vietnam War veteran whose art is part of the Army’s war art collection and is displayed in various government facilities including the Pentagon and the Smithsonian.

Artists in juried show:

Kurt Bayless, U.S. Navy, Huntington Beach
Giovanni Berdejo, U.S. Army, Fountain Valley
Ed Bowen, U.S. Army, Corona Del Mar
George Davis, U.S. Marine Corps, Rancho Santa Margarita
Hanh Dinh, U.S. Marine Corps, Garden Grove
Reginald Green, U.S. Navy, San Diego
Linda Hicks, U.S. Air Force, Westminster
Charlie Hunt, U.S. Army, Huntington Beach
Sean Lenahan, U.S. Navy, Costa Mesa
Phyllis Miller, U.S. Navy, Santa Monica
Kimberly Millett, U.S. Army, Newport Beach
Darrow Minor, U.S. Navy, Long Beach
Cody Reed, U.S. Navy, Long Beach
Arthur Rivera, U.S. Navy, Anaheim
Abraham Romero, U.S. Army, San Diego
Casey Rydjeski, U.S. Army, Fountain Valley
Sandra Scott, U.S. Air Force, Yucaipa
Mario Solorzano, U.S. Army, Pomona
Bill Stewart, U.S. Air Force, Newport Beach
Gary Tegel, U.S. Navy, Costa Mesa
Paul Todd, U.S. Army, Orange
David Vargo, U.S. Marine Corps, Anaheim
George Wallims, U.S. Marine Corps, Huntington Beach

Special guest artist
Joe Pisano, U.S. Navy, San Diego

Heroes Hall – Now open for self tours Wednesdays-Sundays
Visit our museum to view the latest exhibits and learn about local veterans.
Hours: Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where on the fairgrounds: Heroes Hall is next to Centennial Farm; enter at Gate 1
More info: Visit